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Preventing pandemics or preparing for them

This essay from Richard Seymour intersected in a thought provoking way with my recent concerns about the securitisation of pandemic response. He explains how this paradigm involves preparation rather than prevention, in the senes of preparing for the inevitability of a range of disastrous outcomes rather than trying to bring […]

The agricultural origins of pandemics

I’m slowly getting my head around how the arrangement of agriculture, with its co-ordination of animals in time and space, creates the conditions in which viruses are incubated, as Catharine Arnold explains in her Pandemic 1918: Little did doctors suspect, during the First World War, that ducks operated as a ‘reservoir’ […]

Žižek on Covid temporalities

This is the last thing I’ll post about Žižek’s Pandemic! eBook but I thought these observations about what I’ve come to think of as Covid temporalities, the distinct temporal experiences of crisis and lockdown, were very useful. On loc 396 he considers the inevitability of ‘dead time’ during those who […]

the pandemic age has its origins in neoliberal agribusiness

A really important argument from Richard Seymour’s latest Patreon blog post: The geo-economics of particle conveyance, is an industrial byproduct of agribusiness. The concentration and centralisation of agricultural capital results in unprecedentedly large farm sizes, with big, sedentary animal populations intensifying virulence. The imperative to streamline production where profit margins are often very […]

The anthropological shock of Covid-19

I thought this extract from Ulrich Beck’s final book Metamorphosis shed light on our current situation. The role of expert systems in rendering the crisis legible is familiar, with “the means to make the invisible threat to their life visible” lying in the mediation of events. The obvious different though […]